User-generated content (UGC) can be a wildcard for marketers, but it’s a card that content platform Thismoment has learned to play.
Today, the San Francisco-based company announced it has raised an additional $17.6 million to deal out more homemade photos, posts, and videos, combined with news stories or brand-created content.
“UGC is essential [for a brand] to create an authentic connection with consumers,” Thismoment CEO and founder Vince Broady told VentureBeat.
The Series D funding round was led by Sierra Ventures, Trident Capital, and UMC, and it brings the total raised to date to $54 million.
The new money will be used to “continue our development of our user-generated content technology,” Broady told us. That means, he said, “building out more sources, [acquiring] more rights, integrating with more enterprise systems,” including digital asset management, publishing systems, and social media management.
Founded in spring of 2008, the company launched its digital storytelling platform in the summer of 2009. Broady had co-founded the GameSpot news and review site that is now part of CBS, after which he led Yahoo’s entertainment sites.
The company’s stated original focus was allowing users to create a “moment,” a collection of photos or videos from several users that can be linked to a place or a time. The company currently emphasizes the platform’s ability to allow a marketer to find and mix-and-match UGC as needed, as in a playlist, which can then be rendered for Facebook, Pinterest, or other environments.
The content can be combined with professionally created material to add personal, real-world touches to digital experiences in brand marketing, sales, customer support, and recruiting. The company sees itself as the pioneer in the use of UGC for brand marketing, and has arrangements with over 150 brands and agencies.
When a piece of UGC is located, Thismoment issues a “click here and approve” agreement email or post directed to the content owner, with the language specified by the brand.
The company faces “a lot of action in the digital content space,” Broady said. He pointed to Percolate, but described them as more focused on original content production. RebelMouse, he said, was oriented more toward “site development, like a publishing platform.”
No one else, Broady said, maximizes “the number of screens [for UGC], coupled with rights clearance, [and making] that available to other enterprise systems.”